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Music of the Bakhshies of Khorasan

Music of the Bakhshies of Khorasan

Musicians and singers of North Khorasan include three groups as Lovers, Bakhshies and Leveler (Luti); playing instruments like Kamancheh, Dotar, Sorna, Drum, Quseme and Ney, they compose songs compatible with each historical and cultural event. When the sheep get sick, they composed hymns like Lalezar and in case of enemy attack romantic songs as Allah Mazar are made. Meanwhile, Bakhshis are Dotar players who relate orally to people a corpus of morality, mysticism, poem and literature from a generation to another up to now.

Most of bakhshies today live in North Khorasan especially in Quchan, Bojnord, Shirvan and Esfarayen cities. It is stated that there exist 4 to 5 Bakhshies in each village. The presence of Kurds, Turks and Fars in North Khorasan has made difference between this music and that of southern and eastern parts of the province so that the Turk and Kurd characteristics in the northern form is more obvious.

In addition, the Kurdish music (Kormanj) tend to be more joyful and festive, Quchani music (Turkish), however, is mostly mystical. Bakhshies' Dotar implies some profound concepts so that each wire is considered as the symbol of a narrative or meaning; interesting in this respect are the story of Adam and Eva's, day and night's, paradise and hell's creation. Bakhshies are masters of many Maqams in such a way that they have defined certain Maqams compatible with each ceremony like wedding, Norouz and various parties.

 The main popular Maqams in North Khorasan are Navaei, Tajnis (resurrection), Grayli, Shakhtaei and Bolbol (Philomel) each containing many branches and portions.  In addition to playing instruments, Bakhshies are also skilled in composing poems and making their own musical instruments. Folk people define a person as bakhshi if they are proficient in playing, singing, storytelling and reading out poems; they also should be reached the higher levels of consciousness and mysticism thereby being Bakhshi reflects a kind of blessing and position gifted by God.

Among the most famous Bakhshies Khan Mohammad Gheytani, Ahmag Gholi Ahmadi, Mohammad Hossein Yeganeh, Haj Ghorban Soleymani, Alireza Soleymani, Ali Gholamrezaei Almejoghi, Olia Gholi Yeganeh are remarkable. In 2010, Music of the Bakhshies of Khorasan was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in UNESCO.

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